About the Book:
Author: Janice Cantore
Publication Date: 2012
Series: “Pacific Coast Justice” (book 1 of 3)
Genre: Christian Fiction, Suspense
Rating: 2 ½ out of 5
Synopsis: Detective Carly Edwards hates working in juvenile—where the brass put her after an officer-involved shooting—and longs to be back on patrol. So when a troubled youth, Londy Atkins, is arrested for the murder of the mayor and Carly is summoned to the crime scene, she’s eager for some action. Carly presses Londy for a confession but he swears his innocence, and despite her better judgment, Carly is inclined to believe him. Yet homicide is convinced of his guilt and is determined to convict him.
Carly’s ex-husband and fellow police officer, Nick, appears to be on her side. He’s determined to show Carly that he’s a changed man and win her back, but she isn’t convinced he won’t betray her again.
As the investigation progresses, Carly suspects a cover-up and strikes out on her own, uncertain whom she can trust. But when danger mounts, she begins to wonder if she made the right choice.
My Thoughts: As a police officer for 20 years, a relative newcomer to the world of fiction, Janice Cantore would be an expert at writing fiction set in the world of traffic tickets, arrests and sirens all washed out in a sea of blue. Or that would be the logical assumption. Though I have no questions as to the authenticity of Cantore’s writing – in fact, it almost comes across as too much so for the uninformed reader, this is not a novel I wish to re-visit. The constant use of police signals and codes becomes annoying as opposed to resourceful. Each term is explained and is comprehendible as a result but the consistent use of them becomes a poor use of such dialogue, confusing me more than informing – and for this reader, that is poor writing. Likewise, the number of characters introduced for some reason overwhelmed me. Normally novels do establish a great number of supporting characters but in my experience they don’t play a large role in the books or their purpose is used better. Here, Cantore brings in far too many in the same space.
Strictly reviewing this as a story, the plot isn’t bad. Sure, there are some holes in the best parts of it but overall, it is a decent depiction of a police story that is probably more accurate than most. Unfortunately, the over 300 pages aren’t always used to full advantage. Its demonstration that even the most lost can find God is touching but I didn’t always feel the genuine nature of every scene that is meant to elicit sympathy and depict those emotions as “genuine.” As characters who are supposed to be seen as everyday human beings, not superhuman, I never warmed to Nick or Andi, or even Carly for that matter. Not a one of them meant much to me save for wanting to reach the last page and close out the story. I didn’t even hope for redemption for the wild Andi – nor was I bothered that I didn’t, or root for Nick to prove how he has changed to Carly. If this book sounded interesting to you, understand these are only one person’s opinions… but feeling detached from the characters is something no reader wants.
In Summary: Interesting premise that is unmistakably faulty puts this novel into the one-time-only-read category for this reader.